New Criticals

In their initial incarnation, Owls were merely boring and disappointing. With their "twinkling" arpeggios and more superfluous drum flourishes than a Carter Beauford instructional video, they represented the moment when young, talented kids decided that technical complexity was more important than energy and ideas. This rendered their playing ticky-tacky and punchless, and the overlaid screams of portent which, in a nervier band like Cap'n Jazz, once aimed directly for the chest, began to sound listless and perfunctory. The new single sounds exactly bloody like this, the kind of song that can't keep your attention from wandering to clickbait about celebrities you didn't know were married (this may or may not be based on a true story...Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet, who knew?!?).

I'm taking the time to stress (read: be a dick about) this now for reasons that don't have a ton to do with Owls themselves. Like I said: Owls weren't ever terrible, they were just always dull, and they still are. Rather, this particular instantiation of emo has become, in the ensuing years, the version that a shit ton of kids seem to remember clearest and, bafflingly, like the best – and, worse, start bands to sound like. So when Owls return, they do so not as charming relics, about whom we would say "Oh, my word, they're still together? Surely one of them would have opened up a dry cleaning business by now!" Instead, they SHIMMER like Gandalf the Fucking White, pillars of influence to whom the benefit of the doubt is due. That every single alt blog dilligently reported on this pfft's release should make you suspicious; that the commentary is more effusive than perfunctory (like here & here) and you start thinking Lizard People are pulling the strings.